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PreCentral: Isis Web doesn't bring new WebKit to the TouchPad, but it's still better

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Isis Web doesn't bring new WebKit to the TouchPad, but it's still better

Way back in February of 2012 - that's over a year ago - HP released to open source the new Isis browser built on the latest WebKit standards. They called it Isis. This Isis browser in built in to Open webOS, and anybody familiar with webOS on the TouchPad would find the user interface instantly familiar. Because it's the same.

While there's an ongoing effort to bring parts of Open webOS, like the new WebKit engine, to older webOS devices like the TouchPad, it's still possible to get things like the updated browser interface. Yes, we just said it's the same, but it's also different. That's why webOS homebrewer Juno Avalon has been working on porting the Isis browser interface to the TouchPad. He's gotten far enough that he felt comfortable packaging it up as an app and distributing it via the WebOS Nation Homebrew Gallery - and so Isis Web for HP TouchPad was born.

While Isis Web shares a common user interface with the existing TouchPad browser and doesn't include the new WebKit, it does at least bring some new goodies to the game without compromising anything that we've known and loved about the old browser. When you tap-and-hold on a link or hit the share button in the address bar, there's a new share dialog that allows you to select from Email, Messaging, Sparrow (Twitter), and Facebook (the TouchPad app).

Isis Web also supports searching the text on a page, an option triggered from the app menu. You can download and save links with a tap-and-hold and when the browser is minimized into card view it stops scrolling.

In the notes for the app release, Avalon notes that this release is only for the TouchPad. While it technically is a complete Enyo app and loads correctly on the Pre 2 and Pre3, it is neither optimized nor functional once it is loaded. Avalon says he's working on a separate release for webOS smartphones.

So go ahead and fire up Preware on your TouchPad or hook and and run webOS Quick Install so you can give Isis Web a try. As an added bonus, Isis Web doesn't replace the default web browser, but it still shares the history and bookmarks database. So there's not a big commitment leap to be made if you want to give Isis Web a try - switch back and forth between it and Web at your leisure.

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